Below is my project proposal. One to revisit, another to make sure I meet my ‘process blog’ requirement. I realize now how “shy” I can be with blogging in general – I’m a bit nervous about putting my thoughts “out there”. Perhaps with such an interest in broadcasting in general, the actual idea of broadcasting my own voice makes me nervous! One day I will get over my performance anxiety.

(1) a topic description, problem statement, or research question;

I would like to explore how a visual mapping of historical radio broadcasts about New York City events relates to the stations that broadcast them. The mapping would be a chronological project, that hopefully can demonstrate the shifting spaces of stations and their relationships to the location of the events. I would want to delimit my project to a series of broadcasts that would most likely be local NYC news items, or narrative items, that describe spaces in New York City. To further focus the piece I would likely try and either focus on public radio stations. The pieces would be local stories versus national ones, unless it was a story that became national.  It would be great to open up the project over time to display each broadcast to their specific air date, and allow for users to include their found sound radio objects or recordings and geo-locate them in spaces on the map.
I would like to ask: What is the geographic relationship between historical radio broadcasts about NYC events and the stations that broadcast them? Historically, where were the radio stations headquartered and what does their history look like mapped? How did the influence on radio technology impact the consolidation of stations? What – in terms of time – is the relationship between a New York event and the broadcasting of it in terms of space on a map and in what ways can this be visualized to demonstrate it’s relationship to the audience (an always moving and temporal group)? And – is there interactive potential to provide stations means to “map” their stories through a tool like URT?
(2) a discussion of your topic’s relevance, significance, and/or timeliness (in other words, why is it worth studying, and why now?);

There is a lot of research and a rich amount of resources about the history of radio broadcasting in New York City, however at this time there doesn’t seem to be an interactive mapping of these stations that visually reflects their history over time. I think the introduction of these histories over time will help demonstrate how certain factors in the radio stations history can be visualized by reflecting station locations, antennaes, the conglomeration of networks, and their relationship to the architecture of the city (the Empire State Building).  My topic would not only highlight the relevance of these stations impact but would interactively provide samplings of events that were being reported on in New York City during the times the events took place (or in relationship to these events). Such an interactive display would be a way to understand the ways in which media played a role in the historicity of an event.

I am still working on ways to narrow down the scope of this project and a few ideas were to either:

a) focus on a year or decade of events, or select one or two news items per decade

b) select certain key “moments” in NYC history to focus on and seek out reports

c) narrow the focus to one or two (competitive) stations

The potential of this tool would perhaps be a way to upload and share broadcasts that are NYC- specific and place them on a map. So, for example, a user searching the tool could pull up and access stories about Central Park Summerstage.

(3) a tentative bibliography containing at least ten sources, half of which must be scholarly sources; and

Bannerman, R. Norman Corwin and Radio: The Golden Years. University, Ala. : University of Alabama Press, 1986.

Barnouw, Erik. A History of Broadcasting in the United States.

Benny, Jack and Frank Knight. The years to remember [sound recording] : those great moments in radio. New York : Evolution, 196?

Burns, Ken. Empire of the Air. PBS, 1991.

Lewis, Peter M. & Jerry Booth. The invisible medium : public, commercial, and community radio. Washington, D.C. : Howard University Press, 1990.

Lyons, John. The John Lyons Papers 1905 – 1960. NYU Bobst Tamiment/Wagner Archives Main Collection (Tamiment 025 Non-circulating )

Midgely, Ned. The advertising and business side of radio. New York, Prentice-Hall, 1948.

Rothafel, Samuel Lionel and Raymond F Yates. Broadcasting, its new day. New York : Arno Press, 1991.